Welcome to BioBag’s Community Heroes series! Each month, we will highlight community heroes that are making a difference in their communities and working to make their local environments cleaner and healthier.
This month, we are taking a look at CERO Cooperative, Inc.!
Founded in 2012, CERO Cooperative, Inc. is a commercial composting company based out of Dorchester, Massachusetts, built on the mission to improve communities while doing right by the environment. CERO provides food waste pickup and diversion services for clients in the metro Boston area and transports organic waste to local farms where it’s composted into rich soil products used to support the local agricultural economy. Their goals are to keep food waste out of landfills, save money for their clients, and provide good green jobs for Boston’s communities.
We spoke to General Manager Lor Holmes and Sales Team Leader Casey Lynch to learn a little more about their organization.
What led you to start your composting operation?
CERO: CERO was founded by African American and Latinx entrepreneurs rooted in the environmental justice communities of Dorchester and Roxbury, MA. Determined to provide an alternative to unacceptable wages and working conditions, CERO’s founders joined forces with the MassCOSH Immigrant Workers Center and the Boston Workers Alliance to create a worker-owned zero waste enterprise in 2013.
Who do you serve, and how can people get in touch with you if they want to start composting?
CERO: CERO is a commercial composting cooperative that serves businesses in Greater Boston looking to recycle their organic waste for its highest and best use. We collect businesses’ food waste and haul it to local, family-owned farms, where it is turned into nutrient-rich compost soil. We then deliver this finished soil to growers throughout Greater Boston, creating a closed loop in which yesterday’s waste works to grow tomorrow’s food.
CERO’s organic waste recycling customers include universities, healthcare facilities, food processors, caterers, restaurants, breweries, indoor growers and more. Feel free to contact us here to learn more about how we can make your business great at composting!
How much organic material do you typically take in on a weekly basis?
CERO: CERO typically harvests and transports nearly 100 tons of food waste to farms in Greater Boston on a weekly basis.
Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.
CERO: CERO is very proud to be a worker-owned cooperative! A worker-owned cooperative differs from a traditional business in that all workers have the potential to become owners of the business after a cooperative education process.
Additionally, CERO is proud to adhere to the seven cooperative principles, participate in democratic decision making, and pay all of our employees a living wage. When you choose to work with CERO, you choose not only to regenerate our earth, but also to provide dignified work to members of our Greater Boston community.
If you would like to be featured in a future edition of Community Heroes, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.